Unbelievable! The Fashion Of ‘I, Tonya’ Goes Deeper Than Nostalgia

Unbelievable! The Fashion Of ‘I, Tonya’ Goes Deeper Than Nostalgia

I, Tonya is the type of movie to observe without expectations. That’s a tall order, though, thinking about how cemented Tonya Harding is inside the public consciousness and what sort of people know—or think they recognise—approximately the discern skater who completed athletic greatness simplest to be following the notorious Nancy Kerrigan incident.

That changed into some thing gown dressmaker —whose previous movie credit encompass 20th Century women, Charlie Countryman, and hard candy—changed into keenly aware about before she signed onto the challenge.

“I had to study the script,” Johnson tells Glamour. “once I hear ‘Tonya Harding,’ the instantaneous question is: Are we going to do something humorous or ironic? Are we going to make a laugh of or fetishize her like many human beings do?”

happily, that ended up now not being the case. “The script is any such page-turner,” she says. “I advised [director] Craig Gillespie, ‘ok, I’m in.’”

That decision turned into in addition solidified whilst phrase got out that Margot Robbie might be taking up the role of Harding. “i used to be so excited to discern out the way to make one of the most appropriate ladies in the international into one of the maximum well-known and extremely good athletes,” she explains.

to meet the demanding situations of reworking Robbie into Harding—while maintaining authenticity during the film’s costume layout—Johnson dove into Harding’s records, chronicling not best her lifestyles’s work as a parent skater but additionally analyzing how her style developed over the path of almost two a long time. however the records-collecting process came with its personal set of demanding situations.

“I experience like she doesn’t have the loving information that, say, maybe Nancy has,” Johnson says. “There are holes right here and there. earlier than things like Getty pictures and the internet, documentation just got here from newspapers and, in Tonya’s case, tabloid clippings.”

Johnson and her crew additionally scoured YouTube for vintage video footage, which become frequently mislabeled or incorrectly noted. “We genuinely tried to recreate the skating costumes for the massive events: the Nationals, the Olympics,” she explains. “We knew the ones have been crucial to get right [because] such a lot of skaters or people who knew the ones occasions might see the film.”

One such pivotal occasion became the , where Harding have become the first American female to land the triple axel. “For that turquoise costume wherein she lands the triple for the first time, we used a unmarried-stretch Lycra, which is sincerely an unforgiving cloth,” Johnson says. “It’s sort of thick and the hands kind of bunch up, and it’s a touch bit funny inside the in shape. That’s intentional because that costume she might have made herself.”

based totally on her studies, Johnson determined that Harding’s style would be exceptional portrayed in “chapters” that align with the sweeping arc of the film, which covers her first foray into discern skating as a three-12 months-old all the manner via , while she turned into 23.

“inside the first part of the film, whilst she’s 3 years old thru about 9 or 10, her mother LaVona is dressing her,” Johnson says. “They’re very negative, but her mom did a stunning activity of making those costumes and putting bows in her hair. And that’s sincerely juxtaposed with this terrible violence that Tonya suffered at the palms of her mom.”

Johnson needed to don't forget the ones dark habitual subject matters of poverty and abuse in Harding’s story whilst she become making design alternatives.

“because the abuse escalates with [her husband] Jeff Gillooly [played by Sebastian Stan], her and Jeff start to assume similarly,” she says. “There’s something approximately her that will become type of invisible. I surely wanted to show that arc through shade and sample, lack of pattern, and shape. from time to time, her and Jeff could share matters, like carrying the identical turtlenecks, and that turned into intentional as well.”

some thing that’s obvious for the duration of the film is how more than one characters put on fur and the way it’s used as both a status symbol and a plot device. now not wanting to create any new pieces for the movie—”no animals died,” Johnson reiterates—her and her crew searched for the coats anywhere they may. “My assistant designer, Petra, turned into on vintage fur coat duty,” Johnson says. “We wanted it to appearance actual, so we sourced all this fur from eBay [and vintage fur dealers]."

within the film, a young Harding models her personal fur coat out of rabbits that she hunted along with her father, a MacGyver-like strategy to the trouble of no longer being capable of afford to buy one like her skating friends. Harding’s train, Diane Rawlinson, is frequently seen sauntering across the rink in a high priced fur coat. And in spite of residing in poverty, even Harding’s mother wears fur, a layout choice based on interview pictures with the real-lifestyles LaVona Golden, who Johnson suggests probably got dressed up for the event.

“back then, fur changed into a signifier that you had made it,” Johnson explains. “And determine skating is type of a privilege, especially when Tonya was so at odds with the game as it was type of a excessive society global. within the studies, you locate those snap shots of, like, 10 judges in floor-period fur coats status on the ice. it's far genuinely freezing on the rink, so I suppose it’s a mixture of practicality however additionally this form of pomp and condition.”

even as below Lawlinson’s wing, Harding became groomed by means of her sophisticated teach, who could’ve bought her apparel from iconic, prim and proper manufacturers from the Nineteen Eighties like Laura Ashley, Ralph Lauren, and Jessica McClintock. “This turned into when she changed into a teenager, her skating turns into very serious, and he or she starts doing simply nicely in competitions,” Johnson says. “So Diane takes her shopping to create this ‘society appearance’ that’s at whole odds with Tonya’s rock and roll, punk spirit.”

away from the rink and as time is going with the aid of, shooting Harding’s quintessential Nineteen Nineties aesthetic, in particular, provided a unique impediment: From runways to neighborhood department shops, the last decade’s influence is obvious pretty a great deal everywhere in recent times. Johnson cites as evidence that even a number of the maximum questionable ‘90s trends aren’t immune from making a comeback.

“The ‘90s have actually been having a moment inside the last few years,” Johnson says. “you can walk into an urban outfitters, mimic a ‘90s outfit pretty effortlessly, and be the brand new elegant millennial. I didn’t need to hit any of those beats—I desired all of the costumes to feel in reality honest and like they belonged on the pores and skin of Tonya Harding.”

For her street garb, Johnson aimed to imitate what Harding had worn in actual life even as simultaneously avoiding some thing that "felt like a costume": "If there had been ever a second in which I idea there were too many terrible ‘90s sweaters or shoulder pads gone awry, I attempted to scale that returned. I tweaked the proportions right here and there so that they felt a bit softer than what could have been actual at that time."

the important thing, in keeping with Johnson, become to avoid veering into a sartorial area that was too cutting-edge or cheeky. In other phrases, don’t assume to see crop tops, chokers, or anything else that Kendall Jenner wears that is probably construed as a gift-day ode to the ‘90s. “The current model of the ‘90s is what we’re clearly surrounded by means of proper now,” she says. “in order that changed into an obsession of mine, to be real and herbal within the method and to never be funny or outlandish. We tried the ones matters, however they felt false—it felt like we were making fun of this era, and that i didn’t need to do this.”

since a lot of the finances became earmarked for Harding’s skating costumes—they needed to make triples of every for all of the stunt performers—Johnson and her crew sourced a number of the non-skating looks from apartment houses in l. a. and thrift stores in Atlanta, where the movie changed into shot.

“there is an incredible wealth of ‘90s thrifting in Georgia that’s quite tremendous,” Johnson explains. “quite a few the shopping was going on constantly—even for the duration of shoots due to the fact she had about 107 gown changes.”

And for the reason that skating costumes had been so wild and bold, Johnson says that firming down Harding’s off-the-rink clothing changed into important. in the end, sequins and bows may match well at the ice, however they don’t necessarily translate into everyday put on, specifically for Harding’s every day existence, which become regularly fraught with drama and turmoil. “The skating costumes may be sort of distracting, however in a terrific way,” she notes. “If her road garments had the same boldness, coloration, or strains, it could be intricate and intrude with the skating costumes. So I attempted to present a little plainness to her streetwear.”

unique colour palettes have been key in shaping the design universal. “The ‘70s are the acute primary colorations like crimson and shiny blue, the ‘80s are the gentle pastels, and the ‘90s are jewel tones. And it’s much greater somber within the ‘90s because that turned into crucial to reflect the abuse she become going through—we introduce black, maroon, white, and denim.”

Out of the multiple hundred clothes that she created, Johnson highlights Harding's leather jacket as one in every of her favorites, because it culminated in what she considers Harding on the top of her game.

“She had this large leather-based jacket with the shearling collar,” she says. “I feel like that actually embodies Tonya’s success: the turtleneck and the jeans with the jacket. She appears so decided and self-possessed. That’s the Tonya that i really like."

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